There’s nothing like braai smoking over wood or coals. Smoking adds plenty of flavour to meat and seafood, along with a distinctive aroma that enhances the braai experience even further. If you’re fairly new to braai smoking, you may be wondering how to get started. This guide gives you some tips and techniques that will help you get the most from your braai.
Braai Smoking Tips
Here are a few things to keep in mind when braai smoking your meat, fish, chicken and other food.
Get started early.
Flavour compounds in smoke are water and fat-soluble. This means that your food will absorb smoky flavours most effectively when the meat is raw. Once the meat starts to cook, it dries and the smoke does not absorb as easily.
Know when to go slow.
Although you can do very short bursts of smoke for some meats, most meats will be cooked for longer so that the meat will be cooked just right and the smokey flavours can be fully absorbed. You should not be spending hours smoking, however. Aim to smoke for roughly half of the cooking time.
Keep meat covered.
Don’t be tempted to keep lifting the lid of your braai to check on the meat as it’s smoking. When you do this, smoke will be released out of the braai, temperatures will drop and you’ll lose a lot of the flavour in your meat.
Perfect the ventilation.
You will need to keep an eye on the colour of the smoke to tell whether your wood is getting sufficient air. Grey smoke is good, meaning that you have proper ventilation. If you see black smoke, you will need to adjust the ventilators to make sure you’re getting enough air. You’ll also need to make sure that you have decent air circulation, so make sure you keep the base and lid vents open.